Aug 3, 2017

Next: woolly jumper

The fashion and homewares retailer's latest trading update showed total sales fell just over 2 per cent in the three months to the end of July compared with the same period last year. The 10 per cent share price jump on the back of falling sales therefore looks excessive. A rough 8 per cent free cash flow yield, almost all of which is returned to shareholders, is only meaningful if the company's future is sustainable. Next's delivery charges look old-fashioned by comparison. The company does not expect much improvement in the second half of the year, and is still expecting full-year profit before tax to drop by as much as 14 per cent.

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